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How To Grow Your Amazon Private Label Business Through Adversity - Kristina Uradzimskaya - Part 1
March 22, 2021
How To Grow Your Amazon Business Through Adversity - Kristina Uradzimskaya - Part 1 - Watch The Video Version At:
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[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller Roundtable, E Commerce, coaching and business strategies with [00:00:06] spk_2: and er not and Amy [00:00:07] spk_0: Wiis. Mm. Hey, what's up? Everybody? This is Andy are not with Amy. We've And this is Seller. Round table number 87 we have Christina Paradigms. Kaya, did I hit it? Did I get [00:00:22] spk_1: it? Yes. Welcome. [00:00:25] spk_0: Christina. Thank you so much for being on today. [00:00:28] spk_1: Thank you guys for inviting me. What's a beautiful end of the year to be on your famous podcast and talk to you guys about my ventures? That's amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to appreciate it a lot. [00:00:41] spk_0: She leads with compliments. I like it. So, Christina, give us a little background so people can learn who you are. Ah, maybe where you're born, where you live now. Ah, kind of just your journey to where you are today. [00:00:54] spk_1: So I was born in Eastern Europe and a small, um, empowers Eastern European countries called Belarus. Not too many people know about it. At the age of 21 I moved all the way to the United States, and, uh, since 21 I've been living here in California, in San Diego. I have a background in linguistics and in business administration. Um, so I started my Amazon journey around 10 years ago. And since that time, I am, uh, here in the Amazon community, built in private label brands and, um, really enjoying myself and I they uh okay, uh, to the, uh, that [00:01:52] spk_0: Oh. Oh, no, Christina, I think we, uh, [00:01:58] spk_1: the opportunity where I am right now. And, uh uh, [00:02:04] spk_0: we we we lost you there, Christina, for about 10 seconds. With with with the interwebs, uh, congestion on the interwebs or your wife I one of the other. Um, you know, maybe just move your drinks slightly to the left so your WiFi signal hits your laptop a little bit better. Um, and then we can We can try again. Yes, I know, right? [00:02:24] spk_1: I'm [00:02:24] spk_0: sorry. Not your fault. It's weird because you were, like, perfect connection until we Until we hit the record button. And then you know, of course, right? Just the way it works. Murphy's law. So I heard perfectly that you are where you were born. And what You know what you're working on. Why don't we start with your what you're doing in e commerce? right now, I miss part of where you were talking about, You know, the business side of things. I heard a little bit of your back story, but tell us about your e commerce journey. [00:03:03] spk_1: Okay, So, uh, as you know, around 8, 10 years ago, I started building a private label. Brands. Right now, I'm the CEO and founder of, uh, my oldest. My baby brand. It's called Keramat. It's been with me for eight plus years. I remember you and me. We That's how we met. Uh, I asked you to help me with some listing optimization. I seen Coast there, Google CEO or stuff like it's so such a long time ago. Unbelievable. Um, and then I opened a couple more company. The other big company that, um, I opened last year. Uh, this year, actually not last year. Still, this year it's called technology. Uh, it's a capsule collection wardrobe. So we developed the idea that within $100 the female can by 5 to 6 pieces, Of course, that last heard during all her pregnancy and during the postpartum period. And that's, uh, the unique idea. Since no other retailers, uh, neither brick and mortal stores online stores. They do provide that quality closing with the affordable price and and all of the pieces of the closing that we manufacture. Uh, they actually is like combine double with each other. So that's why it's called Capsule Collection. And it's really, really, really affordable. [00:04:29] spk_0: Yeah, I love [00:04:30] spk_1: that. I just [00:04:31] spk_0: want to say I love the quality of the clothing of technology as well as the idea, because all of us women who have had babies, that's one of the struggles is you need something throughout your pregnancy. And I love how you've designed clothing that stretches but still looks beautiful that you can use from the beginning of your pregnancy when you have a little bump all the way to the end, when you just want to lay down all day long. So I think it's a wonderful idea and really cool, and then your original company, Terra Med, with your compression leggings and medical tech hosiery. It's really, really great. I wore one of your I learned my lesson, Christina. I wore one of your pair of leggings compression leggings to the gym the other day, and I almost died. I was like I will never wear compression leggings to the gym again. But they were such high quality, and they were just really, really great, Very comfortable. It's just not great for the gym. So and recently, Christina, you also got into the toy market, right? [00:05:43] spk_1: Yes, I got into the toy market, and, uh, that's gonna be one of my big focuses on 2021 as well. So we started. Uh, since I have the bad background, a little bit of background is pedagogic. So, as I said And linguistics, um, so I am. I was really into the Waldorf Education and Montessori education. So understanding the main concept of learning through play for exploring, um, how I developed a very nice line, and we're starting to sell the products. Um, for kids, uh, that made from very, very, very high quality wood. So, one of our product, for example, to give you the idea, we are using the birch wood all the way from Ukraine. Or, like, you know, just the top. The top quality that we're able to find to be using our products took around the year to develop that, and, uh, we launched two products and two more products around the way it's gonna arrive from one month or so. So yes, Panda Brothers, its original European company or we registered in Netherlands. Uh, so this is, um this is a passion project, and I really enjoy how, uh, fast. We've been selling on amazon dot com during the holiday season. We just launched, I think, on December 7th or sports if I'm not mistaken. And I know that the biggest audience, uh, view as the Amazon Sellers. So just to give you the idea if the product is Gordon, you really put all your effort into that. So we have those 200 units this limit that are killing me, and they were sold out within 10 days with zero PPC and zero reviews. Back [00:07:39] spk_0: then, you found a niche corner of the market. You had a great listing. You got that great organic drinking and they just sold right out. That's awesome. [00:07:48] spk_1: Well, [00:07:48] spk_0: besides the inventory limits, Christina, they're killing everyone. Um, what has been the biggest challenge with Amazon since you've got started? And any advice that you want to give other sellers that are just starting out? [00:08:05] spk_1: I will be honest and draw with you and I would touch the topic that not everybody is talking about. I think financial planning is the most important thing. So we all have the idea like, okay, we grow in the businesses we grow in the business is with that Everybody who started, they're going to come to the point where they will be asking themselves. Okay, I need work capital. I don't have enough money because I wanted this. I would add that myself growing, but still, I'm spending money on PPC. So financial planning is one of the most important thing that I think everybody has to consider And be very careful about, because when it's burning, when you need money and you start looking around, like for the investments asking your family friends trying to get as V A loans like all the things you know, when the period that you need money, there is never a good offers coming up. So have the idea of for them. Uh, well, the point in your business that you're gonna be expanding it and you need this money. So prepare for that. Sees the options. Don't make the rush decision that could actually financially destroy your business and understand that marketing right now on Amazon space. It's huge, huge, huge amounts of money needed to lounge. I'm not talking about the brands that I'm We're launching brands like with all the infographics with social media. That's another story. But even it was one single product. You need a lot of money, and this is the budget that needs to be carefully examined and carefully prepared because we never know. And you never know when you the person will need this money. So I think, uh, financial planning and the idea of the, um the future of your business or the product of your brand and how much money you willing to invest or how much money you will be able to invest, Then the most important thing and that is that them. [00:10:10] spk_0: What you're saying is, instead of sticking instead of just thinking about okay, I gotta get this product out the door. We all need to think about where do we want to go? Because if we don't know where we're going, we can get there. There's no path. We're just spinning our wheels. So we want to think about okay. Yes, I'm investing in, and he talks about this all the time. When we were talking about launch, we tell people like you need to be willing to break even, or maybe even lose a little money during your launches because that is your foundation. That's your establishing your presence in the marketplace. So you have to budget for that. And I think you're right, Christina, where people are getting into Amazon with this mind set up. So I'm just gonna need money right now. I'm going to just invest in this product, and it's more of a long game. It's more about what are you building that later on is going to be worth, you know, 10 X or whatever you can sell it for, right? So I love that advice. I think it's so, so important. I always say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail and it's just important to think about your business as a whole and really think about okay, where am I now? What is needed right now for startup, but then where am I going and what's going to be needed along the way? And how can I prepare myself for that? Love that advice. So you talked about you've gone through this product development process so many times. Christina, we've met in China. You've moved your factories to Taiwan from China. I mean you. And now you're in the Ukraine getting birchwood. I mean, you're all over the world. You're not afraid to source from anywhere. You're not afraid to figure it out. I love a girl who can figure it out. That's why we get along so well. Right? Um, but what is your product development process? So give some tips on how you select products, Um, and how you find products and how you think through that process. [00:12:08] spk_1: So the first thing that everybody was thinking about the launching, a product of the rent of the product line doesn't matter is you have to understand that right now, nowadays, no one invents the bicycle. Everything pretty much already exists. So what you can do is just modify that, uh, make it more suitable for the needs of the current situation. Make it make the offer a little bit diverse from the other, offers better pricing, better quality. It doesn't mean that it has to be like very, very, very different from what is on the market right now, but something that will make your product or your service stand out from all of the competition that makes people interested in you. So that's the main thing that you have to think about while you just start to look for the product. When it comes to the source and the exact source. And I think there are many. You have the amazing webinars you have the like while when it comes to sourcing and the project development, I think you have, like the exact book by book. The people can listen to you and there is nothing else needed. But, uh, right now, since, uh, we have this tough relationships with China and we don't know, none of us can say what's going on in the next couple years. So I honestly don't know. No one knows. So when it comes to source and always try to if you already have their company and you're working with them, always try to find the Plan B solution. So there is time and there is Vietnam. There is many other Asian countries that can produce the same product. If you go a little bit further. You can see there is the Middle East, Uh, that no one actually looked at, But they have. They can do some good stuff like turkey. Also, don't forget about the Eastern Europe. There are plenty plenty of factories and plenty of suppliers in Eastern Europe. I know right now when I started to work with Ukraine, it turns out to be the printing services in Ukraine could be even cheaper than, uh, in China. So many, many, many things And just don't get your eyes, the clothes like, you know, this horse. Open it up. See the opportunities always loved the Hussein. When once you said to me Always come to any open door that welcomes you that there is an opportunity to enter and don't say no Always tried out that doesn't cost anything. And at the end of the game, those people who are not scared to try, who are not scared to spend some more time researching some more time, working on the opportunity and seeing if there is something there. They always the winners so that that's my advice when it comes to sourcing, even if you already have the factory, it everything looks nice. Everything is back protein. You already not even doing quality control Or like he already remind them that much. That doesn't guarantee that it's going to be forever. As we are in business, this is the cost of business. And, uh, everything can happen. We're not insured. And the most successful people in the business they never like, have 100% uh, ensuring that everything is fine and everything will be going as most laxatives right now. So, yeah, I'm just having the opportunities, having the options and be able to look around to go to the trade shows Um and, um see what's going on when the world opens up. I [00:15:42] spk_0: love I love how you're being proactive there because a lot of people will wait until something happens in China and then go, Oh, crap. I have to move my production to a different country or a different place. So being proactive like that put you so ahead of the game at the same thing with Q four when people were complaining about storage, right? It's all the people that had the three pl set up and and had tested it like we told him to do in, like September. Those are the ones that really, you know, had a leg up on everybody. Because once you see the trend, once you can see, uh, you know, there's always these little signs and like you said, who knows what's gonna happen? And it may not be a big deal and, you know, business as usual in China. But why not hedge against that? If you know, if the costs are, you know, comparable Or maybe maybe in the process of doing this, you might even find a better deal Or, you know, better quality for the same price. Or, you know, uh, quicker production or you can maybe even find it in the U. S. Or you know, who knows. But, um, you know, I love how you're being proactive there. [00:16:38] spk_1: Thank you. [00:16:40] spk_0: Yeah, I agree. You know, it's so important just to not be afraid. You don't lose. I love what you said. You don't lose anything by doing the research, and you lose time. But think of all you have to gain. You don't lose anything by just asking a question, searching it up on the Internet, giving somebody a call, making connections the network is so, so important. And I know you utilize that so well, Christina, you bring people together and you meet people and you know, you just like I got. I know if I need a guy for something, I can come to you and you say I know somebody who can do that But you're the same way with me. You always come to me and you're like, Hey, do you know somebody that will do this? And we leverage the network and that's so, so important. So if you're looking to source from India, you're looking to source somehow put it out there. Maybe somebody knows you know something about that. So the next question I have for you, Christina, is scaling. So we talked about financial planning, but so many people, you have successfully scaled your businesses. Um, your brands. But how did you do that? And what's your advice for others on scaling? [00:17:50] spk_1: You know what? When it comes to the scale and you need to understand what the ultimate goal of any business so some people want to scale to reach that xxx numbers that many comments are in their revenues. Some people want to scale to the point that they're going to sell. Some people want to scale or two make sure they are going to be better than their competitors worldwide. So there's different scenarios for Amazon businesses right now, 80 p 80% of people as far as they see they want to scale the business to the point that they will be able to make a good exit, like selling trash or heyday. Whatever companies is, this is like, Well, let's be honest. That's the majority of businesses that are on Amazon right now what they're doing, what they're planning to do so in order to scale the business. As I said, um, for Amazon sellers, when it comes to Amazon, uh, so is the most important thing. It's your revenue, and you do have to show that you have in the revenue and revenues increasing at least 20% every fiscal year. So whenever when it comes to the financial, who's gonna be looking at your financial what what's going on? They need to see that the business is growing, it's not stuck. And, uh, for example, 2020 showed us that only the people who are who have strong business. Um, understanding that there can be some bad things happening, like you're going out of stock, Uh, three weeks before Christmas in the biggest, uh, big biggest, uh, salad season. So, uh, and things like that, you always have to be prepared. And, as I said, always have plan b merchant fulfilling. Uh, you don't have to be scared to make your hands dirty. And if you need to pack your shit and yourself, do the merchant fulfill, you better do that. Uh, then when it comes to scaling on Amazon space, as I said, the revenue is Number one is that number three is creating the new products, new products in the same brand. If you're doing the product line and they all like parable with each other, it's like skincare or something. All you're doing just a bunch of the products under the private label, and they're not connected with each other. It's just the increasing maybe bundling them, maybe creating accessories that can be easily. As I said, it's in every other business. It's just growing it, and we can grow by providing a better service better, or for uh, making sure that your product subscribes, uh, will be on the subscription that, uh, affected a lot and also try to diversify. All this year, I've been trying to do a lot of looking at the wall market. The other platforms again, Like everybody said, Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's fine. That's fine for me. It's not, uh, it didn't, uh, it hasn't been something like, Oh, my God. It's like triple to ourselves. No, Amazon still gets all the sales interprets and go through Amazon, but still, like diversifying, having the idea that our products are offered here and there. So, uh, that's a good thing that you have to think about. [00:21:10] spk_0: So this year, it sounds like you that was actually our next question was about diversifying your sales channels. Um, so and I know you've been kind of studying that now like me, for just recently, both of us have been really getting into diversifying. And like you, Amazon makes up the bulk of my sales. But I definitely see potential outside of Amazon, and you [00:21:32] spk_1: know, [00:21:33] spk_0: so in terms of diversifying your sales channels, where else have you found even a little bit of success in selling? [00:21:43] spk_1: Uh, you know what do we do with the good? Um, Shopify Shopify actually brings me, uh, maybe 5% 3% of total sales. And it's not bad. It's like, what, 8 10, our orders today? It's not bad. Even though we're not running aggressive, uh, CEO or we're not running any aggressive Google ads. It's just a little bit here, a little bit them. And I really like how the shop If I had this whole new nice plug ins where you can play absolutely having Zira I t. Knowledge or anything, you can play with them and see what you can apply to your store. And it actually worked. That's by the way. It was very surprising to me. I felt like, Oh, my God, maybe like have to be like programmers like me. With them will be [00:22:31] spk_0: them Know that. Oh, my gosh, of [00:22:35] spk_1: course. And he is the biggest CEO guy I've ever seen in the I told you at the beginning. Anyway, So Shopify was something that actually, uh, I was working during 2020 since there is little things that you can play yourself having zero knowledge and, uh, you know, they did, um, some reverence, uh, into the search as human Google. And the other thing is, um, what else? It's when it comes to diversifying. Um, probably a little bit of, uh, eBay Was was not bad, but still like the main focus. I have the business mindset. You always have to hit on the place where you get the most. So when you sell like if you sell on Amazon, don't get distracted trying to build something cool on email something cool on Shopify spent hours and hours a day. Just try to put as much as you can on something that already bringing you, uh, [00:23:41] spk_0: well at the same time, also looking at diversification as an option. But don't try to put your eggs in all the baskets at once, or you're going to be too far spread out in terms of that for us in in brick and mortar. We're focused on one major retailer and a few smaller specialty retailers because it's just it would be like building out Amazon all over again. You know, we don't have the bandwidth for it. It would just be too much, so completely understand that [00:24:11] spk_1: thanks for tuning in to part one [00:24:12] spk_0: of this episode join us every Tuesday at one PM, Pacific Standard Time for live Q and A and bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the Ultimate Software tool [00:24:24] spk_1: for Amazon Sales [00:24:25] spk_0: and Growth seller s c [00:24:26] spk_2: o dot com [00:24:27] spk_0: and amazing at home dot com.